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and sweet. Even so the gospel remained incorruptible, though it came through the lips of corruption. Something of the same doctrine is taught by Ovid:
Video meliora proboque,
Metamorphoses, vii. 20.
Tate and Stonestreet's translation.)
Sonnet CCXXV.: and Shakespeare :
If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottages princes' palaces.-Merchant of Venice, Act i., Sc. 2.
Probably all of these are more or less direct descendants from the New Testament:
For the good that I would I do not ; but the evil which I would not, that I do. - Romans vii. 19. On the other hand, we have Goldsmith saying of Burke,His conduct still right, with his argument wrong.
Retaliation, I. 46. “Who now reads Cowley?” asks Pope. Evidently Pope did. Cowley, in his poem “On the Death of Crashaw," had said,
His faith, perhaps, in some nice tenets might
Be wrong; his life, I'm sure, was in the right.
For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight;
Ep. iii., 1. 305.
Go put your creed into your deed,
e tongode, Concord, July 4. Milton had already said, very finely, “He who would not be frustrate of his hope to write well hereafter in laudable things ought himself to be a true poem."-Apology for Smectymnuus.
Young, Goldsmith, Shakespeare, and Chaucer enforce the same moral, Young making all due allowances for human weakness :
Thy purpose firm is equal to the deed :
The Deserted Village, I. 167.
But Cristes lore, and his apostles twelve,
Canterbury Tales : Prologue,
John Armstrong (1709-1779) has been saved from oblivion by the last line in this extract:
Of right and wrong he taught
The Art of Preserving Health, Book iv., l. 301. Praise from Sir Hubert is praise indeed, a common misquotation from Thomas Morton's drama "A Cure for the Heartache,” Act ji., Sc. I, where it is less tersely put as “ Approbation from Sir Hubert Stanley is praise indeed.” Morton probably had in mind the Latin phrase “ Laudári á viro laudato" (" To be praised by a man who is himself praised”).
Prayer. In “The Passing of Arthur” Tennyson makes the departing king say to Sir Bedivere,
More things are wrought by prayer
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.
And this is that Homer's golden chain which reacheth down from heaven to earth, by which every creature is annexed and depends on his Creator.-Anatomy of Melancholy, Part III., Sec. i., Memb. i., Subs, i.; which was also utilized by Pope :
Vast chain of being, which from God began,
Essay on Man, Ep. i., l. 237.
The chain that's fixed to the throne of Jove,
of the Danger His Majesty Escaped. Still more interesting is an analogous passage in one of Tennyson's greatest contemporaries :
The Maker has linked together the whole race of man with this chain of love. I like to think that there is no man but has had kindly feelings for some other, and he for his neighbor, until we bind together the whole family of Adam. Nor does it end here. It joins heaven and earth together. For my friend or my child of past days is still my friend or my child to me here, or in the home prepared for us by the Father of all. If identity survives the grave, as our faith tells us, is it not a consolation to think that there may be one or two souls among the purified and just, whose affection watches us invisible, and follows the poor sinner on earth ?-THACKERAY: Cornhill to Cairo.
St. John Chrysostom was learned in Greek literature, and it would be curious if we could trace to a classic model the exquisite prayer composed by him : " Fulfil now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants, as may be most expedient for them.” This is not a scriptural idea, but there is someThing not unlike it in a prayer by an unknown poet, which is highly commended by Plato : “Father Jove, grant us good, whether we pray for it or not; and
avert from us evil, even though we pray for it.” And one of the fragments of Menander runs, Mń pou yévoud' & Bouhou' una' å ovupépei (“Let not that happen which I wish, but that which is right”). Compare the lines
Unasked, what good thou knowest, grant ;
What ill, though asked, deny, in Pope's “Universal Prayer ;” also the Collect beginning "Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, who knowest our necessities before we ask, and our ignorance in asking." James Merrick (1720-1769) says,
Not what we wish, but what we want,
Hymn. Précieuses, Les, the name by which the members of the Society of the Hôtel Rambouillet were called. It was an association of pseudo-savants of both sexes in France in the first half of the seventeenth century, who indulged in a mixture of ridiculous philosophy and gush.
The usages of the coteries into which they were subdivided were most grotesque; the women affected toward each other the most exaggerated show of romantic sentiment; they called one another by no other names than ma chère, ma précieuse, which soon became the general designation of its members. When the hour approached for her levee, the female “precious" jumped into bed, where she languished as the habitués of her circle trooped in and ranged themselves about the alcove. To obtain an entrée into the charmed circle the young aspirants were obliged to prove to the satisfaction of the “grands introducteurs de ruelles" that they had risen to a comprehension of the "end of all things, the great end or end of ends," which done, they were duly presented. Each "précieuse” had a cavalier, called the “alcoviste," who was peculiarly devoted to her service and helped do the honors and direct the conversation at these peculiar entertainments. The subjects were grave dissertations upon frivolous questions, trivial researches to understand the meaning of an enigma, speculations upon the metaphysics of love and the sublimations of sentiment, all discussed with an exaggerated delicacy of manner and puerile refinement of expression.
They finally succumbed to the laughter of Molière in his “ Précieuses Ridicules."
Pretenders, The, the son and the grandson of King James II. The first, James Francis Edward Stuart, is known as the Old Pretender, and his son, Charles Edward Stuart, as the Young Pretender. The Acts of Settlement passed in the reign of William III. (1701-1708) secured the succession of the House of Hanover. The Old Pretender made some vain attempts to recover the kingdom, but in 1743 surrendered his claims to his son, who in the following year invaded Great Britain, by way of Scotland, and fought gallantly but was signally defeated at Culloden in 1746.
The extempore addressed by John Byrom to an officer of the army presents a phase of the perplexities of the politics of the time :
God bless the King-I mean the faith's defender;
God bless us all,-is quite another thing. Prevention is better than cure, or, more at length, An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, a common English proverb which finds analogues more or less close in most languages. Ovid's “ Principiis obsta" (9. v.) embodies a similar idea, and so does Persius's “Venienti occurrite morbo” (Satires, iii. 64). A closer parallel is quoted in the “Adagia" of Erasmus : “Satius est initiis mederi, quam fini” (“It is better to doctor at the beginning than at the end”). The Chinese say, “ To correct an evil when already existing is not so good as being aware of it when not existing.”
Pride that apes humility. Coleridge in the unfinished poem of “The Devil's Thoughts,” which he and Southey were to write together, contributed the following among other verses :
He saw a cottage with a double coach-house,
A cottage of gentility;
Is pride that apes humility.
He passed a cottage with a double coach-house,
That his favorite sin
Is pride that apes humility. When Diogenes trampled upon a couch at dinner in Plato's house, crying, “I trample upon Plato's pride,” the latter quietly retorted, " But with greater pride, Diogenes.” The Abbé Maury ridiculed in a similar way the liberal members of the noblesse in the National Assembly who proposed the abolition of titles : “You tread upon ostentation but with greater ostentation.” So Socrates said to the cynic Antisthenes, who inveighed against the pride and luxury of the conventional classes, “ I can see thy pride through the holes in thy robe.'
Pride's Purge, the purgation of the “Long Parliament,” really an unprecedented and violent invasion of parliamentary privilege, in 1649. Two regiments of soldiers entered the House of Parliament, seized in the passage and arrested the forty-one members of the Presbyterian party, excluded one hundred and sixty others, and would admit none but the most violent and vociferous of the Independents. These proceedings were called “ Pride's Purge," from the fact that the soldiery were under the command of Colonel Pride.
What was left of the purged Parliament became known as "the Rump." The purgation was completed by Oliver Cromwell on April 20, 1653, when he entered the chamber, and, after some preliminary remarks, concluded,
"Corrupt, unjust persons; scandalous to the profession of the Gospel; how can you be a Parliament for God's people? Depart, I say, and let us have done with you! In the name of God-go!"
The House is, of course, all on its feet-uncertain, almost, whether not on its head: such a scene as was never seen before in any House of Commons. History reports with a shudder that my Lord General, lifting the sacred mace itself, said, “ What shall we do with this bawble? Take it a way!"-and gave it to a musketeer. And now. "Fetch him down !" says he to Harrison, flashing on the Speaker. Speaker Lenthall, more an ancient Roman than anything else, declares he will not come till forced. “Sir," said Harrison, “I will lend you a hand;" on which Speaker Lenthall came down, and gloomily vanished. They all vanished; flooding gloomily, clamorously out to their respective ulterior business and respective places of abode. The “Long Parliament" is dissolved! . . . the unspeakable catastrophe has come,--and remains.-CARLYLE: Cromwell's Letters and Speeches.
Princes and lords. A famous sentiment in Goldsmith's “Deserted Village" runs as follows :
Princes and lords may flourish or may fade,
When once destroyed can never be supplied. The thought is one of the most common in literature. But even the verbal vesture in which it is clothed has been traced to various sources, though Gold.
smith has touched it with the magic of his own genius : “nihil tetigit quod
Who pants for glory finds but short repose :
** Epistle I., Book ii. Still closer came De Caux, who, comparing the world to his looking-glass, had said,
C'est un verre qui luit, Qu'un souffle peut détruire, et qu'un souffle a produit. (" It is a shining glass, which a breath may destroy, and which a breath has produced.")
As Goldsmith borrowed, so he was borrowed from in return. Burns, in the “Cotter's Saturday Night,” has,
Princes and lords are but the breath of kings.
“An honest man's the noblest work of God," the last line being, of course, a quotation from Pope. Burns varies the thought in another of his poems :
A prince can mak' a belted knight.
A marquis, duke, and a' that,
Guid faith, he mauna fa' that. Burns's words were anticipated by Wycherley in his “Plain Dealer,” Act i., Sc. I: “I weigh the man, not his title' ; 'tis not the king's stamp can make the metal better.” From Wycherley Sterne probably stole it; for when stealing is in question, the presumption is always against Sterne. “Honors, like impressions upon coin, may give an ideal and local value to a bit of base metal; but gold and silver will pass all the world over without any other recommendation than their own weight,” he says in “Tristram Shandy."
Now, all these sayings, so different in form but so alike in substance, are but illustrations of the idea to which Pope has given these words :
Honor and shame from no condition rise:
Act well your part, there all the honor lies. The Germans express it in the proverb,
Edel seyn ist gar viel mehr
Als adlig seyn von den Eltern her,
Than the mere heir of such as lived of yore,") a good democratic maxim, in substance embodied in the Declaration of Inde. pendence, and as old as human nature. We find it in one form or other in the oldest books,-the Talmud, for instance, where it is thus expressed : “Not the place honors the man, but the man the place."
Principiis obsta (L., “ Meet the beginnings”), an oft-quoted phrase from Ovid's “ Remedium Amoris," line 91. “Medicine," the poet adds, in explanation, “comes too late when the evil has gained strength by long delay.” The French have an analogous expression : "Ce n'est que le premier pas qui coûte" (“ It is only the first step that costs"). Madame du Deffand, in a letter to Horace Walpole, June 6, 1767, relates how Cardinal Polignac, a man of vast credulity, told her the old story of the martyrdom of St. Denis, who, after decapitation, walked two leagues with his head in his hand to the spot where his church was afterwards erected. The cardinal Jaid special stress on the distance traversed. “The distance is nothing," quoth Madame ; "'tis only the first step that costs" (“La distance n'y fait rien ; il n'y a que le premier pas qui coûte").